You may have heard of Bowen therapy but be struggling to understand what it really is. Descriptions like ‘holistic’ and ‘multidimensional’ make a lot of sense to Bowen therapists but less so to the people we treat.
So what is Bowen therapy and how will it help you?
It’s a form of bodywork which was developed over 50 years ago by Australian born Tom Bowen. It’s a series of moves on the fascia (a soft tissue under the skin) that stimulates the body’s natural responses to bring about self-healing both for medical conditions and physical complaints.
Bowen Therapy may treat the cause of many conditions as well as working on the symptoms. The treatment consistently creates deep, long-lasting healing and pain relief.
Because it works on the fascia it often successfully treats persistent problems that have not responded to previous treatments.
Rather than working on one specific area it addresses the body as a whole, so many patients who turn to Bowen therapy to experience a reduction in physical pain or notice that their stress levels have also decreased following a session.
Conditions Bowen therapy can treat
It can be used to address a wide range of conditions including common physical issues like back, neck and shoulder pain as well as knee, ankle and foot problems.
It may also an effective treatment for headaches, respiratory problems, ear infections, bowel problems and hormonal conditions. Despite being considered a form of bodywork, Bowen may also help with emotional conditions like depression and anxiety through shifting the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic, which is turned on during stress and pain, to parasympathetic which is where is needs to be for the body to rest, relax and repair.
It’s non-invasive and safe for use on all people and on most conditions so it’s ideal for everyone from the very young to the very old.
What happens during a Bowen treatment?
When you go for treatment the therapist will spend time on the initial consultation getting to know your medical history, assess for structural or muscular dysfunction and find out what your main problems are as well as your symptoms.
Treatment can be carried out directly onto the skin or through lose clothing. My patients are advised to wear loose clothing to the appointment.
During a treatment, a series of Bowen moves are applied to the body which take time to integrate, so between series of moves there are calculated breaks to allow the therapy time to be assimilated.
How Bowen therapy works
The therapy enhances cellular function via gentle manipulation of soft tissue;
“The pressure applied to muscle tissue during a Bowen move distorts the muscle fibres and interrupts the resting membrane potential within muscle cells, engaging mechanical gated ions channels which initiate an electrical, chemical or mechanical responses. Proprioceptive awareness is heightened in the target organs (muscles) which in turn correspond with cascade of tissue repositionable events”.
Kristin North 01/01/2019
Treatment is fast acting and, unless re-injury occurs, the results are usually long lasting and even permanent.
The healing process starts immediately after the first two moves sending a message to the body that the emergency is over so many patients experience immediate pain relief and the healing can continue a week or more after the session.
Many conditions may be addressed in a session or following a course of treatments and sessions last between 30 and 45 minutes.
Choosing a Practicioner
Bowen therapists in Australia and around the world create a community of therapists that follow the same guidelines and stick to a strict code of conduct and ethics.
There’s a list of qualified therapists who are registered with the Bowen Association of Australia and Bowtech approved.
Of course, the very best way to find out about Bowen is to experience it for yourself. I promise you’ll be as amazed at the results as I was the first time I tried it!